• Follow us

Economy

Transgender woman had to tick Australian Tax Office's mental illness box to get early access to super

A woman with short blonde hair smiles at the camera.

Two years ago, Siobhan Frith had a wife and was named David but knew she was living a lie.

The jeweller, from Eumundi on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, said she "always felt weird" as David and had spent her life trying to fill a void as she often saw herself as female.

"I didn't know what was wrong, I was trying to fill a void with activities like music and stuff like that.

"Gradually, I realised that if I had a relationship there was one person wrong in that bed and that was me.

"I was wrong in myself, I should have been female. I should have been born in the right body."

A man with a moustache smiles at the camera.

Ms Frith was 46 when she started hormone treatment and felt "instantly better". She began transitioning and finally began filling the void she had had in her life.

But two years later, when she was ready to undergo gender transition surgery, which involved the removal of her penis and creation of a full-depth vagina, Ms Frith discovered she would be about $18,000 out of pocket and couldn't afford it.

"I would have to re-mortgage my house or wait until I'm 80."

A woman with short brown hair smiles at camera.

Then she heard from a friend that she could access her superannuation for early release on compassionate grounds.

The only hiccup was that she had to get approval through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and to get that, she would have to tick a box saying she had an acute or chronic mental illness.

"Even though [with] gender dysphoria [it] is now recognised that it is not a mental illness — it's biological — but if you don't tick the box, you won't be getting approved," she said.

"I ticked the box."

What they say about gender dysphoria

The national healthdirect website states gender dysphoria is "no longer considered a mental illness".

An ATO spokesperson, explaining how it administers the early release of super on compassionate grounds, said surgery for gender dysphoria generally did not meet the medical treatment requirements, "except where medical practitioners certify the procedure is associated with treating an acute or chronic mental illness".

A man dressed in cycling lycra smiles at the camera.

This issue was raised with the Commonwealth two years ago as a concern to transgender people.

In 2017, the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health (ANZPATH) submitted to the Treasury a paper titled Accessing Superannuation for Transgender Related Surgeries.

The document raised how gender-affirming health care was recognised as a "medical necessity by a number of international professional organisations, including the American Medical Association, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and ANZPATH".

Yet the surgery wasn't funded through Medicare and early access to super could only be claimed under the category "chronic mental illness".

The ATO spokesperson said it would continue to assess compassionate release of super in accordance with requirements for "the treatment of a life-threatening illness or injury, acute or chronic pain, or acute or chronic mental illness".

'I'm not mentally ill'

Ms Frith said once she had ticked the chronic mental illness box, the ATO was "absolutely brilliant" in assessing her application and approved it very quickly.

She travelled to Thailand in June and underwent the final surgery and is excited about continuing life as the woman she was born to be.

"I feel like a different person. When I wake up, I can breathe a sigh of relief."

But she said she didn't like ticking the chronic mental illness box.

"I'm not mentally ill, so to tick something to say that's why you need surgery is pretty much a lie."

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

<none>

ASX gains as US Fed cuts interest rates 2019-09-19 03:37:25The Australian share market has had its best day in two weeks, with most sectors posting gains after the US Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate.

Equity crowdfunding on the rise 2019-09-19 03:30:13Interest in equity crowdfunding is growing locally, after Rhinohide reached its investment goal and fellow Perth-based business Tiller Rides announced

Uniformity needed on donations 2019-09-19 03:24:15One of Australia's most experienced electoral officials has called for a major shakeup in the regulation and reporting of political donations at fede

Matsa to raise up to $6m 2019-09-19 03:12:39Matsa Resources is seeking to raise up to $6 million via a share placement, with a portion of the funds to go towards further development at its Red O

Breight fills training gap, wins Newmont contract 2019-09-19 03:08:06Mining services company Breight Group has established a specialist training centre in Belmont to lift the skill level of workers undertaking maintenan

WA results pull Brickworks' profit down 2019-09-19 03:03:43Brickworks' full-year profit slipped 11.9 per cent to $154.6 million, with the company highlighting its WA operations as a specific weak point.

WA directors in $21m of share trades 2019-09-19 02:07:30Another flurry of substantial share transactions from directors of Perth-based ASX-listed companies have occurred recently following the release of an

Slow recovery in WA’s population growth 2019-09-19 01:26:54Western Australia’s annual population growth rate has lifted slightly to 1 per cent but continues to lag the national growth rate of 1.6 per cen

Metals X seeking over $32m to revive Nifty 2019-09-19 01:19:38Copper and tin producer Metals X has launched a $32.7 million capital raising to turn around its struggling Nifty copper operation, less than three we

WA jobless at 5.8% 2019-09-18 23:19:43Unemployment fell 0.1 percentage points in Western Australia in August to be 5.8 per cent, although the number of people employed full time fell by ab

ASX dips amid slump for energy sector 2019-09-18 03:40:27The Australian share market has closed lower for the first time in six days, pinned down by a slump in the energy sector as oil prices retreated from

Juniors to raise $13.4m through rights issues 2019-09-18 03:37:44Paringa Resources is seeking to raise $8.1 million, while Mali Lithium is on the hunt for $5.3 million, both via rights issues.

Business

Pacific climate change champion Enele Sopoaga is no 2019-09-19 04:45:37Newly elected MPs from the 11,000-strong Pacific nation have elected Kausea Natano as Tuvalu's new PM, ending the premiership of Enele Sopoaga.

Woman fleeced of $670,000 in finance scam using 2019-09-19 03:56:12A WA woman is caught up in an online investment scam that used a bogus endorsement by mining billionaire Andrew Forrest and created fake ABC News arti

'Simply untrue': Daniel Johns sues Sydney tabloid over 2019-09-19 03:53:12The former Silverchair frontman sues the publisher of Sydney tabloid The Sunday Telegraph for defamation over a report claiming he frequented a brothe

The US has 700 million barrels of oil 2019-09-18 23:50:55Last weekend's attack on Saudi Arabia highlights how vulnerable the world — and particularly Australia — is to running short of fuel if a

Nearly 35,000 jobs were added last month, but 2019-09-18 21:42:59The jobless rate has taken another step further away from full employment and, with forward indicators continuing to weaken, it is putting more pressu

Balanced budget means the Government is 'working against' 2019-09-18 21:26:51Australia has effectively posted its first balanced budget for more than a decade, but economists — including a former Liberal leader — sa

Budget comes in $13.8 billion better off than 2019-09-18 20:42:05The Federal Government posts a smaller-than-expected budget deficit at $690 million, firming up its expectations of delivering a surplus this financia

'Better off with the devil we know': Concerns 2019-09-18 20:34:17An offshore wind farm proposed for regional Victoria will power almost a fifth of the state's electrical needs, but coastal residents says they are c

GM cotton could soon be grown in South 2019-09-18 19:17:29South Australia's decision to axe its ban on genetically modified crops could open the doors for the cotton i

'No guts, no vision': Trump slams Fed for 2019-09-18 14:53:22The Fed's latest interest rate cut fails to boost Wall Street and certainly did not excite US President Donald Trump, who has been pressuring the cen

Drone wreckage shown to media as Saudi Arabia 2019-09-18 10:48:30Saudi Arabia displays remnants of what it described as Iranian drones and cruise missiles used in an attack on Saudi oil facilities, saying they were

'Months rather than years': UK pins hopes on 2019-09-18 05:17:11Britain's Trade Minister says she expects her Government to complete a wide-ranging trade deal with Australia within months of exiting the European U

Finance | News.com.au

Palm Beach’s ‘worst house’ up for sale New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44Everyone has heard of buying the worst house in the best street. It is real estate doctrine 101. But how about buying the worst house in a suburb &mda

Buyers not put off by unfinished home New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44A half built home in Kellyville, without a kitchen, bathroom or even a toilet has sold under the hammer for $1.415 million.

Ultimate child-friendly home New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44Could this be Canberra’s ultimate kid-friendly home?

Landmark tipped to smash records New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44One of the upper north shore’s most prized estates has come to market, and is tipped to smash both its suburb and district record.

How to pick the right phone contract New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44Australians are obsessed with their mobile phones, so here are some tips about finding the right, cost-effective deal.

Mid-Session 20 September 19: Aussie shares are off New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44Heading into lunch on Friday, the ASX 200 has lifted by 47 points or 0.7 per cent to 6765 .

Trump slams ‘dumb’ phone claims New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44US President Donald Trump has slammed claims he made a troubling “promise” to an unidentified foreign leader.

‘Pastafarian’ takes over council meeting New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44A “Pastafarian” pastor gave an opening prayer on behalf of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster before a local government meeting &m

Artists brush aside site of historic pub New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44Creative couple David and Yuge Bromley are selling the site of quirky Ballarat watering hole The Pub With Two Names.

Your grocery bill is about to be slashed New! 2019-09-20 10:05:44Coles has launched a fresh sales campaign offering sweeping discounts, with retail experts predicting Australia is on the verge of another supermarket

Trudeau has now been caught on video New! 2019-09-19 23:32:27Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was “absolutely unacceptable” to have worn blackface makeup, after damning images of him in

Red carpet rolled out for Morrison in the New! 2019-09-19 23:32:27Prime Minister Scott Morrison has landed in Washington ahead of a meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Sydney Morning Herald RSS

'Really, really tough': Small retailers say they are 2019-09-19 21:05:00Australia's small-to-medium retailers are feeling the brunt of the retail downturn, likening trading conditions to the global financial crisis.

Big box retailers get green light to bargain 2019-09-19 21:01:20JB Hi-Fi, Chemist Warehouse, Bunnings and IKEA have been given permission to start tendering for cheaper electricity deals.

Wall Street finishes mixed after early rally fades 2019-09-19 20:52:08The S&P 500 just managed to hold on to a tiny gain that extended its winning streak to a third day.

No breaches: APRA loses IOOF super case 2019-09-19 20:38:53APRA had claimed the wealth manager's directors, executives and entities failed to act in the best interest of super members.

Smiggle struggle: Boris and Brexit uncertainty shadows Premier 2019-09-19 19:44:49Premier Investments has handed out a record dividend despite its Smiggle business being hit by economic and political instability from Brexit.

Airbnb started when its founders rented out their 2019-09-19 19:17:53When co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia needed some extra cash, so they put three air mattresses on their apartment floor and set up a website.

Markets Live: ASX set for fifth consecutive weekly 2019-09-19 18:48:16Despite a mixed lead from Wall Street, ASX futures are pointing to modest gains on the open.

'Crash risk': Tech titan's $22 billion fortune is 2019-09-19 18:12:00Masayoshi Son is a noted risk-taker who lost more than $100 billion in the dot-com crash before rebuilding his fortune. He may be in trouble again.

Trump believes the Fed chair has 'no guts' 2019-09-19 18:02:17The president gave an uncertain job guarantee for his hand-picked Fed chairman, but added "I don't think he knows how to play the game very well."

8@eight: ASX to open higher; Wall Street treads 2019-09-19 17:23:27What happened overnight and what's ahead for the ASX.

China falling out of love with Apple as 2019-09-19 15:21:47The trade war is taking its toll on the likes of Apple as Chinese consumers turn away from American brands.

Why Bill Gates is right to support a 2019-09-19 13:30:00The second richest man in the world says a tax on huge fortunes makes sense. His case makes it clear why governments should go for it.

Business News - Markets

Bank of England warns further Brexit uncertainty will 2019-09-19 06:54:00The Bank of England has warned that extended uncertainty over Brexit could lead to further damage for the UK economy.

Mike Ashley fails in court bid to block 2019-09-19 06:04:00Debenhams has seen off a Mike Ashley-backed challenge to its rescue plans.

Ryanair (just) sees off revolt over O'Leary's &#163;90m 2019-09-19 05:13:00Ryanair has seen off an investor revolt over pay plans that could earn its chief executive Michael O'Leary £90m in bonuses.

Online shopping decline behind fall in retail sales 2019-09-19 04:26:00The end of pre-summer holiday promotions is being blamed for the first decline in retail sales since May.

Booking.com 'still duping consumers' despite regulator demands 2019-09-19 03:57:00Booking.com is "continuing to mislead consumers" with false claims about the availability of hotel rooms months after regulators demanded the websit

Next says warm September more harmful than Brexit 2019-09-19 01:54:00The Brexit-supporting boss of Next says a warm start to September has done more to hinder sales than political uncertainty.

&#163;3bn needed for farming to tackle climate change 2019-09-18 19:33:00UK farming needs billions of pounds from central government if commitments to tackle climate change and protect the natural environment are to be met.

BT urges switch-off date for copper broadband service 2019-09-18 13:08:00BT Group and its broadband infrastructure rivals are in secret talks with the government about a timetable for switching off copper broadband services

Food bank demand linked to Universal Credit, charity 2019-09-18 12:54:00A charity that provides emergency food for those in need says that where Universal Credit exists, there's a higher demand for food banks.

'No guts': Trump attacks Federal Reserve over US 2019-09-18 10:56:00The US has cut interest rates by 0.25% for the second time this year amid concerns about slowing economic growth and global trade tensions.

Facebook to launch 'supreme court' to judge controversial 2019-09-17 15:52:00Facebook has revealed the rules that will govern its "supreme court" - a new 40-person independent board that will make the final decision on contro

Former boss Tinkler plots bid for ailing Eddie 2019-09-17 15:22:00The colourful businessman who fought a running battle with the owner of Southend Airport last year is turning his attention to its former corporate be


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.